Tanca Tanca

Housing Glossary

You will find information here on all topics relating to housing in Barcelona


Accrued interest

The interest applied as a penalisation when the debtor does not comply with repayment obligations. The amount must be established in the contract.

Active supermortgage

This allows the client to choose their loan's benchmark index (MIBOR at three months, six months or a year) so that payment can benefit from lower interest rates sooner.

Adaptable instalment

Characteristic of UCI superloans that allow the borrower to not pay one instalment a year for the first three years if there are problems due to holidays, extraordinary expenses, etc.

Advanced cancellation fee

A commission arising from the financial risk involved in the advanced cancellation of an operation. The applied commission compensates the financial institution for its financial losses.


Direct state aid for paying the deposit on a property.

Affordable housing

Group of social housing or dwellings from social renovation projects that are sold or rented at below-market prices.

Affordable rent

The cost of renting these dwellings is below market prices after being included in operations concerning the rented flat pool, social renovation or social housing promotions.


Payment made to repay a loan.

Amortisation period

The duration of the loan. The contract establishes the date of the first and last payments. The longer the period, the lower the payments are, but the higher the interest. You therefore pay more in the end. The monthly instalment should not exceed 35% of your net income.


Estate agent. A qualified professional who acts as an intermediary between the two interested parties to facilitate the signing of a real estate contract, which can be a rental agreement, a sales agreement or another similar contract. They usually charge a percentage of the sales price as compensation or commission.


A citizen who makes a registration application to the Barcelona Social Housing Applicants Registry, and who represents the other members of the dwelling unit included in the application.


Annual Equivalent Rate. Effective annual cost of the mortgage in terms of interest, commissions and the repayment period. To compare loans, it is not enough to just look at the lowest APR, you also have to compare the conditions, the repayment period and the distribution of instalment payments.

Arbitri municipal de plusvàlua

Former denomination of the capital gains tax on landed property.


The value of a dwelling certified by a specialised assessment company, in accordance with the mortgage market law. This certificate not only indicates the real value of the property, it also serves as a reference for obtaining the necessary financing.


Document in which the owner authorises the tenant to carry out building work in the dwelling's interior.

Close glossary

Housing offices only offer face-to-face assistance by prior appointment, so check out the “Housing calls you” service here to receive the most appropriate personalised assistance. If you also need assistance in energy rights, book an appointment with an energy-advice point (PAE) by clicking here. On the other hand, if you reside in an IMHAB public dwelling you can consult our contact, management and processing channels here.​

The right to housing, an essential right

15/09/2016 - 18:09

Municipal. City Council is committed to guaranteeing the right to dignified housing.

City Council is working to tackle the housing emergency, as well as the causes which make it difficult to access housing in the city. To this end, a new housing policy is being put into place with a clear ethos behind it: housing is a basic right for anyone and everyone.

Measures are being developed from all perspectives. On one hand, the promotion of affordable housing with 11.8 million euros allocated for subsidies to pay rent. Renovation grants have also been made available not only to dignify buildings, but also, for the first time, the insides of homes. The municipal government is also backing an increase in the public housing stock via the acquisition of homes, having spent17.3 million euros in this area this to date, and with the building of new housing projects, with 2,000 flats currently in the process of construction.

City Council recently used its right of first refusal to purchase a building in the Ciutat Vella district which belonged to SAREB and has also announced the purchase of the Espai de l’Immigrant building to be converted into public housing. The activation of housing belonging to owners of large stocks of properties is also an area where action is being taken. “As far as the law will allow us, we’re working to turn around the presence of public housing in the city”, explained Josep Maria Montaner, Councillor for Housing.

A specific team to prevent evictions

In January 2016 the Unit to Counter Residential Exclusion (UCER) was set up. In its first six months the service provided support for 1,515 families, 35% of whom included minors. Almost 40% of cases have been resolved with definitive or temporary solutions, while 60% of cases have been adjourned. Overall, 94% of cases are families which are unable to keep up with rent payment and in 30% of cases there are large-scale property owners pursuing eviction processes. “Housing, before being a commercial asset, is a basic right”, remarked the Mayor, Ada Colau.

Full information on the new housing website

All services relating to housing are now detailed on a single website: habitatge.barcelona. Users can find information about renovation grants, public housing projects which are under way and the applicants register. The web also aims to help the renting out of empty flats.

Controlling rent

The Mayor, Ada Colau, insisted on the need to regulate abusive rents to “prevent speculation with this basic right”. To tackle the housing emergency, Colau is backing a public price index and an increase in the duration of rent contracts. Proposals also include re-examining eviction protocols “to prevent cases such as the one in Sants-Montjuïc from being repeated”. Colau also called on the Generalitat to speed up the passing of the new law to substitute Law 24/2015 on the housing emergency, suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court.


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